6.6/10
827
24 user 9 critic

Crack-Up (1946)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 September 1946 (USA)
Art curator George Steele experiences a train wreck...which never happened. Is he cracking up, or the victim of a plot?

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Traybin
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Dr. Lowell
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Cochrane
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Reynolds
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Stevenson
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Barton
Mary Ware ...
Mary

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Storyline

George Steele, art curator at a small museum, has an apparent mental breakdown one night, convinced he was in a train wreck...which never happened. In flashback, shortly after proposing to x-ray some old master paintings the museum has on loan, Steele is called on an unplanned nocturnal train trip. He suddenly sees another train ahead, speeding toward his... Is George indeed cracking up, or is there a plot to discredit him? The mystery grows murky with shadowy menace... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TOO INTERESTING ..FOR SAFETY! The startling story of a mind that lost itself...of a man who couldn't forget a kiss...couldn't remember a KILLING! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

6 September 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Galveston  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ship Pat O'Brien goes to is riding so high at the dock that it is obviously empty, even though it is due to sail at 1:00 a.m. with a cargo. See more »

Quotes

Terry Cordell: [Opening her car's passenger door] Come on. Get in.
George Steele: No thanks, I'll take a streetcar; I can trust streetcars.
[A policeman's whistle is heard and we see two cops running toward Steele. Steele jumps into the car, and they take off.]
George Steele: What's your racket girlie? Whattya do for a living?
Terry Cordell: I'm outta my head. I drive around in cars picking up psychopathic killers.
[softening]
Terry Cordell: Someone has to look after you. I was at a party at Reynolds'. Things began to come apart at the seams. I drove Traybin....
George Steele: [...]
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User Reviews

 
Underrated?
8 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Back in 1946, when this film was released, it got very mixed reviews. The notable Bosley Crowther, in particular, panned it. I find it to be a better than average film-noir with a few twists to make it interesting. First off being the topic -- art forgeries -- not your typical underworld target in films. And, for me, it was enjoyable watching Pat O'Brien in the latter third of his career, after movies became a little more sophisticated.

A test for movie mysteries for me is, is there real suspense, or do clues just inexplicably pop up so that the movie can come to a conclusion. Using reverse on the DVR, I was able to go back several times and see when certain clues came up if it was logical or simply convenient. This film passed that test.

It has a surprisingly strong cast. Claire Trevor is interesting, as is Ray Collins. Herbert Marshall is always good, but one thing to take note of here is his real limp, which in most films is not noticeable (Marshall lost a leg in WWI).

Another thing that made the film interesting was how it portrayed life back in 1946. For example, the very good scene filmed at an arcade was very era-oriented, and certainly more interesting than had the scene just been shot in a restaurant or something of the sort...which most directors would have done. The night dock scene was also nicely done. And, these "location shots", though undoubtedly done at the studio, did look real.

So why do I rate this only a 7? Well, while Pat O'Brien is good, he seems a bit old for the part. For example, in one scene he shimmies down a very long chain that would be rather unlikely for someone nearly 50 years old (and clearly out of shape). And, he's not totally convincing as an art expert. But still, it's a decent performance.


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